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Twenty philosophical and theological Arabic Christian treatises (1929/2009) Preface to the online edition

The following Arabic Christian treatises were all originally published without translation by Paul Sbath in Vingt traités philosophiques et theologiques (Cairo, 1929).  Georg Graf, Geschichte der christlichen arabischen Literatur, vol. 2, has some information on the authors and their works.

Numbers 15-17 are by Yahya ibn `Adi.  From Graf II 233-249: He was a Jacobite, born in 893 at Tikrit, went to Baghdad and studied in the philosophical school there. Died 13 August 974. A voluminous writer.  Sbath pp. 168-171 contains a treatise on the truth of the Gospel, using syllogisms. p. 171f is another similar treatise; p. 172-175 on the credal statement, “He became flesh by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary.”

Number 18. Abu al-Khayr ibn al-Tayyib (Graf II 344-348) A Copt, writing between 1204 and 1245. Sbath p. 176-178 prints an extract only of his book “The medicine of understanding”, 24 chapters against the attacks of Moslem polemicists.

Number 19. Abu al-Faraj ibn al-Tayyib (Graf II 160-176) An Iraqi Nestorian, philosopher, physician, monk and priest in the first half of the 11th century. Another voluminous writer, including massive biblical commentaries on the Psalms and Gospels. Sbath prints p.179f, a work on miracles and philosophy.

Many thanks to Sam Noble for transcribing and translating these for us. Number 20, a short treatise by Hunain ibn Ishaq, is in preparation.

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This text was written by Roger Pearse, Ipswich, UK, 2009. This file and all material on this page is in the public domain - copy freely.

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